ecbatan (ecbatan) wrote,

Summary: M-Brane SF, 2009

Summary: M-Brane SF, 2009

Here's a very ambitious new magazine. The editor and publisher is Christopher Fletcher. He plans for M-Brane to be a major SF magazine -- one to rival the likes of Asimov's and Analog. And in one sense he is well on his way -- M-Brane managed a remarkable 11 issues in 2009, essentially unheard of for a new magazine, and in fact more issues than any other SF magazine this year. I saw only two issues, and they included 19 stories, four novelettes, 15 shorts (2 of those short-shorts), for a total of some 95,000 words. Assuming the eleven issues all had about the same word count, the magazine for the whole year published in the neighborhood of 500,000 words, which means I have to revise what I said earlier about Beneath Ceaseless Skies -- that 'zine published an impressive 365,000 words, but M-Brane's totals are higher, and rank it 4th among all SF/Fantasy magazines as to word count.

Thus the quantity of new fiction at M-Brane was impressive indeed. The quality was a good deal more uneven, but I did see signs of promise. What I actually saw, in fact, was a curious mix of pretty weak stuff with some very nice stuff. (This I caution based on only two issues.) Well, always focus on the best! I really liked, for example, Douglas A. Van Belle's "The Barking Death Squirrels" (April), fun and fast-moving adventure with a science-based resolution, about a civil engineer in an extraterrestrial colony who has to find the weakness of invading aliens to fend them off. From November I found Alex Jeffers's "Jannicke's Cat" intriguing, about the last woman on a colony planet on which women stopped being born, and her relations with her descendants. Other nice work came from Toiya Kristen Finley, Larry Ivkovich, Lou Antonelli, and Jennifer Gifford.

M-Brane is explicitly a Science Fiction magazine, and I think all the stories qualify. 6 of 19 stories were by women (31.5%).
Tags: 2009, magazines, yearly summaries
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